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Monadnock Center shows off 100-year old time capsule

  • Dr. Scott Roper led a talk about how the Historical Building and the Peterborough Town House changed Peterborough from an aging mill village into the town center. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Above, people gather around a table containing items pulled from a 100-year-old time capsule on Thursday at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture. Below, newspapers, a blueprint, and coins were just a few of the items pulled from a 100-year-old time capsule. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Newspapers, a blueprint, and coins were just a few of the items pulled from a 100-year-old time capsule.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Newspapers, a blueprint, and coins were just a few of the items pulled from a 100-year-old time capsule.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Monadnock Center for History and Culture kicked off the centennial celebration of the Peterborough Historical Building and Town House on Thursday by sharing the contents of a time capsule placed in the historical building’s cornerstone.

Contained within the time capsule were newspapers, coins, a blueprint, and numerous other documents from when the time capsule was placed in the cornerstone of the home of the Peterborough Historical Society in September 1917. 

“We’re not just looking to the past, but looking to the future,” said Monadnock Center Executive Director Michelle Stahl, who said the items from the time capsule will be placed in an exhibit that people can visit in the future. “Tonight kicks off a year of events.”

Also occurring Thursday evening was a talk by Scott Roper, a cultural and historical geographer and Castleton University associate professor. Roper’s talk, “Remaking Grove Street,” focused on how the two buildings transformed downtown Peterborough from an aging mill village into what people know it to be today. 

“It wasn’t about bringing industry to town, it was about improving the look of the town so that people felt better about it,” said Roper. 

Roper discussed how people of the time decided to reject the 19th century landscape and architecture in favor of buildings and designs rooted in Georgian Revival architecture.

Constructing the historical building and the town house in the style seen today was a choice based on Progressive Era values rooted in fears of Roman Catholic immigrants, regional economic decline, and the desire to reconnect with New England history. 

The two buildings were a starting point to the redevelopment of Peterborough’s streetscape, with buildings like the Peterborough Savings Bank and the Post Office adding to the look of Grove Street in later years. 

The Monadnock Center will host numerous activities and events throughout this year and next. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.